After spending a few days in Oso, we wanted to head north so we could get a look at Mt. Baker. I’ve seen it numerous times in the distance while on the Olympic Peninsula but never had taken the time to get up close and personal.
Here are a couple of interesting facts about this mountain. Mt. Baker has the heaviest glacier cover of the Cascade Range volcanoes; the volume of snow and ice on Mount Baker is greater than that of all the other Cascades volcanoes (except Rainier) combined. Mt. Baker is the third-highest mountain in Washington and the fifth-highest in the Cascade Range.
Indigenous peoples have known the mountain for thousands of years, but the first written record of the mountain is from Spanish explorer Gonzalo Lopez de Haro, who mapped it in 1790 as Gran Montaña del Carmelo, “Great Mount Carmel“. The explorer George Vancouver renamed the mountain after 3rd Lieutenant Joseph Baker of HMS Discovery, who saw it on April 30, 1792.
As it was the middle of the week when we decide to head up we had the mountain pretty much to ourselves which suited us just fine. We took our friend, and fellow Essex Explorer Brads, advise and headed to Artist Point which is located at the end of Mount Baker Highway. We were not disappointed. Just the drive is worth the effort, but the views from up top are stunning. Both Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan are visible and seem to be within arms reach.
While on the way back from the top, we took advantage of the weather to stop along the bank of the North Fork Nooksack River and have a picnic lunch. Turned out to be a great day in the North Cascades.
Speaking of camp, we had decided to move from the Oso area up to Bellingham just to shorten our trips. However, we were pleasantly surprised at just how much the Bellingham area had in the way of outdoor activities as well.
The one aspect that we really appreciate was the sheer number of bike trails available, and we took advantage of them with our RAD Power Bikes. Of all those trails the most interesting was the Interurban Trail which heads out of Bellingham through a number of green belts and eventually ends at Larrabee State Park. Well worth the ride if you are ever in the area.